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Meeting of the Board of Regents | July 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 - 11:00pm

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Full Board


Johanna Duncan-Poitier




Master Plan Amendment:  Orange County Community College branch campus in Newburgh, NY and offering of associate degree programs at the Newburgh Campus



July 9, 2008





Goals 2 and 4







Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


Should the Board of Regents authorize the amendment of the master plan of the State University of New York in order for Orange County Community College to operate a branch campus in Newburgh, New York and offer Associate degree programs in Business Management (A.A.S.) in the discipline of Business; Criminal Justice (A.S.) in the discipline of Social Sciences; Early Childhood Development (A.A.S.) in the discipline of Education; Nursing in the discipline of the Health Professions; and Liberal Arts – Humanities and Social Sciences (A.A.) in the discipline of Humanities at the New burgh campus?


Reason for Consideration


Required by State regulation


Proposed Handling


The question will come before the full Board at its July 2008 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken. 





Procedural History


Master plan approval is required when an institution proposes to operate a branch campus and offer degrees programs.


Background Information


Orange County Community College began offering credit courses in Newburgh, New York in 1990 as an extension center.  The significant distance between Newburgh and the campus in Middletown (28 miles) and the lack of public transportation between the cities was a barrier to higher education for much of the county’s eastern population.  Branch campus status will enable eastern Orange County students to earn full degrees in Newburgh without having to travel to the Middletown campus.


The College proposes to offer the following degree and certificate programs at the branch campus:  Associate in Applied Science programs in Business Management, Criminal Justice – Police, Nursing, Office Technologies, Early Childhood Development and Care; Associate in Science programs in Criminal Justice, Human Services, and Individual Studies; and an Associate in Arts program in Liberal Arts – Humanities & Social Sciences. Non-credit courses will also be offered on-site including business and industry training. The College will also continue to offer two levels of remedial coursework as well as an English as a Second Language program at this location.  The comprehensive support services available to students at the Newburgh Extension Center will continue, including: admissions, academic advisors, financial aid counseling, an ESL program, learning specialists, peer tutoring and study groups, health services, disability services, library services, bookstore, security services, student government clubs and activities, and food service. 


Orange County has embraced the presence of Orange County Community College in the City of Newburgh and in June 2008 completed the purchase of the buildings that will comprise the proposed branch campus. Current facilities include 17 general-purpose classrooms; two science labs; four computer labs; two technology-training labs; a one-stop registration and bursar office; a library; a tutorial center; reading, writing, and mathematics labs; offices for faculty, staff, and advisors; and community meeting space.  Leased space nearby houses four additional general-purpose classrooms, physical education facilities, an art studio, a dance studio, an ESL classroom, and the Liberty Partnerships youth program.  Plans are now going forward for the construction of a new building totaling 87,000 square feet, as well as a complete renovation of the five-story building currently housing the Extension Center and the purchase of an adjacent four-story office building. When the project is completed, the campus in Newburgh will comprise over 175,000 gross square feet.  Construction is planned to commence by fall 2008, with occupancy of the first of the new and renovated facilities slated for fall 2010.





With the move to branch campus status and full programs offered in Newburgh, each degree program will have full-time faculty members dedicated to the programs at Newburgh.  Additionally, full-time faculty in Middletown will continue to have the opportunity to teach part of their course load at Newburgh and adjuncts will continue to teach at the campus.


Faculty participates in professional development activities offered at the main campus.  The hiring of faculty follows standard college procedure.  All faculty must meet the same credentialing standards as those on the main campus. 


The city’s unemployment rate is higher than the State and regional averages.  As of April 2008, the statewide unemployment rate was 4.1 percent and the City of Newburgh rate was 6 percent.   The area has been designated one of New York State’s Empire Zones to stimulate economic growth in the region. The high unemployment rate and the education and workforce training needs of the city’s population were a factor in expansion from an extension center to a branch campus.  On March 1, 2007, the Orange County Legislature approved funding the design of the branch campus and in July 2007, approved the College’s application for branch campus status.  An additional $10.5 million in funding has been pledged from a private donor. 


              A canvass was conducted of institutions of higher education in the Central region.  There was one response to the canvass wishing the College success with its endeavor.




              It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the amendment to the master plan of the State University of New York to authorize the Newburgh Branch Campus of Orange County Community College and to offer the proposed associate degree programs at the branch campus.


This amendment will be effective until July 31, 2009 unless the branch campus is registered by the Department prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.


Timetable for Implementation


If the Board of Regents approves the master plan amendment, the Department will send it to the Governor for approval.  Upon gubernatorial approval, the Department will register the branch campus and the programs to be offered and the College may recruit and enroll students for them